4. introduxi, sc. in senatum. fidem publicam, assurance of safity: he was to be used as state's evidence. sciret: subj. of integral part. servorum: the recollection of the terrible servile insurrections in Sicily, and especially that of Spartacus in Italy, less than ten years before, would make this shock and terrify Cicero's hearers beyond measure. ut . . . uteretur: § 563 (331); B. 295,4; G. 546; H. 565 (498, i); H.-B. 502, 31 a; obj. of the verb of commanding implied in mandata, etc. id: in a sort of apposition with at . . . accederet. cam . . . incendissent: subj. because integral part of at praesto esset; otherwise it would be incenderimus (fut. perf.). erat: § 583 (336, b); B. 314, 3; G. 628, R.; H. 643,4 (524, 2); H.-B. 535, I, d.
at . . . mitterent: purpose. equitatum: the Roman cavalry was at this time chiefly composed of Gallic and other auxiliaries. sibi (copias) refers to the conspirators; sibi (confirmasse) to the envoys: § 300, I and 2 (I 96, a, I and 2); B. 244, i, ii; H.-B. 262, 2. defuturas [esse] depends on the idea of saying implied in praescriptum. fatis: the books bought by Tarquinius Superbus of the Cumaean Sibyl. They were kept in charge of a board, collegium, the quindecemviri sacris faciundis, and consulted in cases of great public emergency (cf. Aeneid 6. 71). haruspicum: the haruspices were Etruscan soothsayers, who interpreted the will of the gods, chiefly from the entrails of animals sacrificed. They were a private class, of low standing, and are not to be confounded with the augurs, who were a board of Roman noblemen, of high rank, who interpreted the auspices according to the native Roman rules, chiefly by the flight of birds, by lightning, etc. Cinnam, etc.: L. Cornelius Cinna was colleague of Marius, and ruled Rome after his death, B.C. 86. L. Cornelius Sulla ruled Rome B.C. 82-79 (see sect. 24). virginam: the Vestal Virgins, six in number, maidens of high rank, consecrated to chastity and the service of Vesta. They were peculiarly sacred, and were highly privileged. Violation of their vow of chastity was incestus, and was regarded as a prodigium of very bad omen. Of the incident referred to here nothing further is known. Capitoli: the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus (see "Plunder of Syracuse," sect. 15) was burned during the rule of the Marian faction, B.C. 83.
Saturnalibas: a very ancient festival in honor of Saturn, the god of seed sowing, celebrated Dec.19. During this festival every serious business was suspended; and it was so complete a holiday that slaves feasted at the same tables with their masters. No better opportunity could be found for the outbreak of an insurrection than this season of unrestrained jollification.